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The Departed

Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  October 6, 2010 05:30 PM

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No, not the Academy Award-winning movie, but some of the talented players that have left Fort Foxborough since the team's last Super Bowl title. Here's a list of some memorable player departures:

2005 -- CB Ty Law, released by the Patriots per his request after acrimonious negotiations to work out a long-term deal prior to the 2004 season and a broken foot during it. He signed with the Jets and tied for the NFL lead in interceptions.

2006 -- LB Willie McGinest, was released for salary cap purposes and signed a three-year, $12m deal with the Cleveland Browns.

2006 -- WR Deion Branch held out and was traded to the Seattle Seahawks one day after the season-opener for a first-round pick that became safety Brandon Meriweather. (Branch returned this week for a Patriots sequel via trade.)

2008 -- CB Asante Samuel, after tying for the NFL lead in interceptions in '06, he refused to sign his franchise tag tender until it was amended to include clauses to allow him to avoid being franchised again. Made his first Pro Bowl in '07 and then signed a six-year, $57m deal with the Eagles.

2009-- OLB Mike Vrabel, was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs along with QB Matt Cassel for a second-round pick that became safety Patrick Chung.

2009 -- DE Richard Seymour, was traded to the Oakland Raiders eight days before the season-opener for a 2011 first-round pick.

2010 -- WR Randy Moss, was traded after four games to the Minnesota Vikings along with a 2012 seventh-round pick for a 2011 third-round pick.

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The word

Christopher L. Gasper riffs on the news

Dearth

...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.

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